Technology Transfer      

Quarterly newsletter from the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development 







  October 2012
In This Issue
Recently Issued U.S. Patents
Upcoming Events
News Flashes
Technology Spotlight: Novel diagnostic tool for high-risk intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm and pancreatic adenocarcinoma
New Jersey Health Foundation Initiates Program To Spur Innovative Research
Startup Company Highlight: GeneAssess, Inc.
Recent License Agreements and Amendments
Recently Issued U.S. Patents
HIV-1 latency model for high throughput screening (Joseph P. Dougherty, Sofiya Micheva-Viteva, Stuart W. Peltz, Yacov Ron, Annmarie Pacchia), US Patent # 8,247,16  Isolated, latently infected T cell lines are provided that can be utilized in high throughput screening to discover compounds capable of activating HIV-I. The T cell lines harbor a latent HIV-I derived vector pro virus, which upon activation expresses a marker for late viral gene expression due to the insertion of the marker gene in the position of HIV-I envelope.

Adenylyl cyclase antibodies, compositions and uses thereof (Stephen Vatner, Dorothy E. Vatner, Junichi Sadoshima, Jayshree Pain), US Patent # 8,263,401 The invention relates to compositions and methods for diagnosing and treating cardiac conditions and neurodegenerative diseases using antibodies which specifically recognize and bind to the adenylyl cyclase 5 isoform in the heart and brain. These antibodies demonstrate high specificity to the AC5 isoform and do not cross react to any other AC5 isoform. The invention further relates to methods of delivery of drugs to the site of injured tissue using the antibodies of the present invention.

Method for determining thermal stability of collagen or collagen-like peptide (Anton Persikov, John A. Ramshaw, Barbara Brodsky), US Patent # 8,280,710 The present invention is a method for determining the thermal stability of a collagen peptide, collagen-like peptide or triple-helix construct with the repeating peptide unit Gly-Xaa.sub.1-Xaa.sub.2. The instant method accounts for the destabilizing effect of peptide repeats which do not conform to the highly stable Gly-Pro-Hyp peptide and for the interaction between triplets. The instant method finds use in mutant analysis of collagen peptides, collagen-like peptides or triple-helix constructs and engineering of collagen peptides, collagen-like peptides or triple-helix constructs. 


For additional information on any of the above issued patents, please contact the Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development at  

Upcoming Events

Biotech 2012: Find. Fund. Facilitate.
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel 201 N. 17th St. Philadelphia, PA
Monday October 22, 7:30am - 5:30pm
Biotech 2012 website: click here.  

Medical Device Conference
Rutgers College Avenue Student Center
126 College Avenue New Brunswick, NJ
Thursday November 15, 9:00am - 2:00pm 
Registration/poster submission: click here.

2012 Regional Commercialization Conference
Thursday December 6, 8:30am - 2:00pm
For more information: click here.
News Flashes

Electronic Clinical Support Tool Targets Safety of Treatment Delivery for Cancer Patient

Database enhancements developed at UMDNJ Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) are helping physicians use technology to further ensure safety in the delivery of chemotherapy. Known as the Cancer Treatment Regimen Library, this new tool includes more than 400 standard care regimens for more than 100 different cancer categories. Developed by Adam Lisi, PharmD, a pharmacy informatics specialist at CINJ, this tooI enables clinicians to ensure appropriate treatment doses for patients based on the recommended standard of care and cross-checked against a patient's medical record. For more information click here. 


Dr. Sergei Kotenko, PhD: Inventor of the Year Award 

Dr. Sergei Kotenko, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School, has won the 2012 Inventor of the Year Award though the NJ Inventors Hall of Fame for his patent entitled "The Identification, Characterization and Clinical Appliances of Novel Interferons (IFNs)," For more information on the award and the NJ Inventors Hall of Fame click here. 


Dr. James Millonig, PhD: 2012 Edison Patent Award Recipient

Each year the Research & Development Council of New Jersey gives its coveted Edison Patent Awards to inventors, companies and universities for innovative patent work spanning thirteen categories, including agriculture, biotechnology, emerging technology, enabling technology, industrial processes, materials technology, medical device, medical diagnostic, medical imaging, pharmaceutical, pharmaceutical process and telecommunications. This year, Dr. James Millonig, PhD, associate professor of neuroscience and cell biology at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School will be recognized in the medical diagnostic category, along with co-inventors Linda Brzustowicz, MD, professor of genetics at Rutgers, and Neda Gharani, PhD, senior research scientist at the Coriell Institute for "Compositions and Methods of Diagnosing Autism" (U.S. Patent 7,629123).  This patent's research has, in part, led to the launch of an Autism Risk Assessment Test by establishing an association between ENGRAILED HOMEOBOX 2 transcription factor (EN2) and susceptibility for autism and related disorders. For more information on the award and Research & Development Council of New Jersey click here.  


Antibodies and animal models?

The UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development is currently organizing a list of antibodies and animal models available for licensing to various companies that have expressed interest. If you have any antibodies or animals models that you would be interested in licensing, please contact the OTTBD ( to request additional information and to fill out an intake form.


Technology Spotlight:   

Novel diagnostic tool for high-risk intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm and pancreatic adenocarcinoma    

Kiron M. Das, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, FRCP
Kiron M. Das, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, FRCP


Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Cigarette use, chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and obesity are all considered to be risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer. Early stages of pancreatic cancer are often asymptomatic, and its later stages result in varied symptoms. As a result, patients with pancreatic cancer are often diagnosed once the cancer is advanced thus leading to a poor prognosis. Therefore, an effective diagnostic tool to distinguish pancreatic lesions of little clinical relevance from those that carry a high risk of developing invasive carcinoma would be a significant and necessary development in the field.

Dr. Kiron M. Das, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, FRCP, Professor of Medicine, Chief of Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has recently helped to develop a novel technology that addresses the lack of diagnostic tools for pancreatic cancers. Using a novel murine monoclonal antibody that has been developed against a colon epithelial protein (CEP), he reported that CEP is absent from normal esophagus, stomach, and pancreas but has been shown to be an effective indicator of preneoplastic changes of both the esophagus and stomach. The present invention comprises the use of this novel monoclonal antibody as a biomarker to determine the level of risk of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN) in the pancreas. It further provides a method of distinguishing high-grade cases of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma from lower grade cases. As demonstrated in human tissue, this novel biomarker has the potential to aid in the pre-operative diagnosis and risk assessment of patients with invasive pancreatic cancer.


Dr. Das commented, "This is a challenging clinical problem which needs an innovative approach.  We are quite excited about the potential of this monoclonal antibody for early diagnosis of pancreatic neoplasm and to strategize the treatment plan."


For more information on this technology and related partnership opportunities, contact the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development:
New Jersey Health Foundation Initiates Program To Spur Innovative Research

New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF), the parent company of The Foundation of UMDNJ, was established in 2002 to provide flexibility for a board educational and research mission and to assure that gifts to UMDNJ are distributed as designated by donors. Recently, the NJHF established the Innovation Stage Funding Program in an effort to provide grants to researchers with promising ideas that may lead to the development of patents or intellectual property. Through this program, grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 may be awarded to researchers affiliated with UMDNJ with these objectives. This program will be in addition to the NJHF New Jersey Health Annual Grants program which provides seed and bridge funding grants up to $40,000 each to UMDNJ faculty. Together, these programs will allow the NJHF to fund research that needs investment toward commercialization at all stages. The UMDNJ OTTBD is working closely with the NJHF on this initiative.  


For more information on the New Jersey Health Foundation and the Innovation Stage Funding Program please click here. 


Startup Company Highlight:

GeneAssess, Inc.

GeneAssess, Inc., a New Jersey-based  biotechnology company, has received a commitment of up to $500,000 from Foundation Venture Capital Group (FVCG), Inc., to validate FRY, a cancer molecular signature gene discovered by GeneAssess scientists that could provide a more accurate diagnostic biomarker for cancer staging. The company has taken an exclusive license to intellectual property developed by Dr. Helmut Zarbl, a professor of environmental and occupational medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and member of the Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI).


GeneAssess, Inc., is dedicated to developing its breakthrough discovery of the FRY gene as a predictive biomarker for breast
and o
ther cancers. The company will use proprietary antibodies to validate loss of the FRY protein as a cancer biomarker, detect genetic mutations in FRY associated high-risk populations and explore target validation for FRY. The signature gene could provide a more accurate diagnostic biomarker for cancer staging in breast and other types of cancer. In research performed to date, mutations in the gene increase rat susceptibility to mammary cancer and FRY reduced the growth of highly aggressive human breast cancer cells in animal models. According to Dr. Zarbl, these findings suggest that FRY could potentially be used as a platform to develop cancer gene-based susceptibility tests, for disease progression and for tumor grading. This tumor suppressor gene could also be useful for developing new targeted drugs, especially for the treatment of aggressive and/or advanced cancers originating from many tissue types.
Helmut Zarbl, PhD



For more information on GeneAssess, Inc. and partnership opportunities, please visit or contact the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development:

Recent License Agreements and Amendments

A paid-up non-exclusive license agreement
covering Molecular Beacons technology.


Amended and Restated Exclusive License to a UMDNJ spin-off company adding newly developed technologies.


Non-Exclusive License Agreement covering a genetic diagnostic. 


Amendment to the Non-Exclusive License Agreement for research tools developed at UMDNJ. 


Amendment to the Exclusive Option Agreement to a technology developed by UMDNJ researchers. 


UMDNJ Office of  Technology Transfer and Business Development


October 2012 OTTBD From top left clockwise: Christopher Izzo, Anya Nikiforova, Cherise Kent, Sue Dolci, Norell Hadzimichalis, Tania Litvin-Vechnyak, Laura Schepps, Vince Smeraglia, Elysa Goldberg (Not shown: Robert Bzdek, Lilly Cohen, Mona Daniels-Riley, Susan Rae)



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